Media mogul Samuel Irving "Si" Newhouse, Jr. and his brother Donald took over their father's media group Advance Publications. Donald runs the newspaper end of the business and for decades, Newhouse helmed Conde Nast, which owns magazines such as Vogue and The New Yorker, among others. On the philanthropic end, Newhouse Sr. founded the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation in 1945, and the 87 year old Newhouse currently serves as president of the foundation.
The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation held more than $134 million in assets and gave away around $12.4 million in the 2014 fiscal year. Newhouse awards a lot of grants in New York City, where he was born and lives, but other sites of philanthropy include Oregon, Massachusetts, and Michigan. It's worth mentioning that in Oregon, Advance purchased The Oregonian and the Oregon Journal and so some of this philanthropy may align with regions where the family has had business. Unfortunately, despite being around for quite some time, the Newhouse Foundation doesn't have much of a web presence currently, or a clear way to get in touch with the couple. Here are a few must knows, however:
1. Large Sums Have Gone to Arts & Culture
Newhouse and his wife Victoria are prominent art collectors who've been listed on ArtNews' top 200 list of art collectors, having spent some $700 million on art. Newhouse, through his foundation, has steadily supported New York City arts and culture outfits such as Metropolitan Opera Association, Lincoln Center Theater, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Museum of Modern Art. Funds have also gone to arts outfits outside of New York City, with recent support going to Portland Art Museum, Oregon Symphony, Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Library and Museums.
As well, in 2006, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation established the Wynn Newhouse Awards which provide grants to "artists of excellence who happen to have disabilities," allocating $60,000 per year for these awards. The Wynn Newhouse Awards are named in honor of Newhouse's son, Wynn, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who passed away in 2010. In 2014, one Wynn Newhouse Award went to Park McArthur, who "examines the phenomenon of conceptual art from the perspective of dependency." (Click here to see a list of award winners)
2. Education Is Another Interest
Newhouse has given millions to Syracuse University, where his brother Donald graduated. The family has deep ties to the school, and Syracuse is the site of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. Last decade alone, more than $30 million went to Syracuse. More recently, in the 2014 fiscal year, more than $2 million went to Syracuse. Other higher education philanthropy has recently involved Johns Hopkins University, Wellesley College, and Oregon State University Foundation among others.
On the K-12 front, recent funds have gone to outfits such as Trinity School, United Negro College Fund, and Communities in the Schools, " a nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life."
3. Newhouse Has Also Supported Health Outfits
Recent funds in health have gone to outfits such as Alliance for Lupus Research, Planned Parenthood of New York City, SLE Lupus Foundation, and Food Allergy Initiative. Other sums have gone to Hospital for Special Surgery, Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, Foundation For Neurological Diseases. In the 2014 fiscal year, a large $500,000 grant went to New York-Presbyterian Fund.
4. Support Has Also Gone to Human Services and Disaster Relief
Newhouse has given large sums to American Red Cross, including a $1 million gift in 2012 to to assist with disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Newhouse has also supported a number of United Way outfits across the country including United Way of New York City, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, United Way of Saginaw County, and United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area.
5. Assorted Sums Have Gone Elsewhere
Newhouse Sr. was born to Jewish immigrants, and recent money from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation has gone to Jewish outfits such as Congregation Emanu-El, UJA Federation-Staten Island, and Anti-Defamation League. Another area of interest is the environment, and recent money has gone to places like Fresh Air Fund (grants totalling 450,000 in the 2014 fiscal year), and Central Park Conservancy. Apart from Newhouse's philanthropy at Syracuse, support has also gone towards media outfits such as Committee to Protect Journalists, and International Center for Journalists. Philanthropy has also involved architecture. Victoria, by the way, is an architectural historian who established the Architectural History Foundation, a nonprofit publisher that provided grants for authors writing books on architecture.
Looking ahead, we'll need to keep an eye out for how Newhouse's children steer the family's next generation of philanthropy.
Related: Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr.